Beefing up your ‘voice’ in the Rockhampton D2C Program

Through the ongoing support of Rockhampton Regional Council (RRC), Everyday Democracy and the Australian Study Circles Network (ASCN), two recent successful Dialogue to Change (D2C) Program orientation workshops have stirred significant community interest in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.

Many thanks needs to go to Rhonda Noyse, Operations Manager Community Development, Julie McInnes, Coordinator Community Programs and the Rockhampton Regional Council team for organising the orientation workshops that were held in the Fitzroy Room of Rockhampton Library.

Inspiring, inclusive and empowering” was one community member’s reaction after the Workshop. Part of the workshops’ aims were to give people an understanding of D2C Program methodology, showcase successful D2C Programs both in Australia and internationally and allow community members to participate in a sample study circle,

Asked how a D2C Program might build upon things already happening in Rockhampton, community members responded with:

“Bringing diverse ideas and people together

Being heard

Community ownership of solutions to issues

Getting people in the same room

Being valued

Shared knowledge

Fresh ideas injected”

Rockhampton has a population of over 60,000 and is the Capital of Central Queensland, located on the Tropic of Capricorn on the picturesque Fitzroy River; it is also renowned as the Beef Capital of Australia with two and a half million cattle.

Over forty diverse community members attended the interactive workshops and representation included those from:

Central Queensland University

Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton

Capricorn Writing Group

Darumbai Youth Services

National Disability Coordination Program

The Salvation Army

Anti – Discrimination Commission Queensland


Ontrack Residential Care



Child and Family Health Services

Mount Morgan Community Support Centre

Uniting Care Community

Chronic Disease and Prime Intervention Program

Royal Flying Doctor Service

Julie McInnes, Coordinator Community Programs with RRC, experienced Swedish study circles first hand while in Finland in the 1990s. Later she undertook study circle research at Monash University, Melbourne, with Dr Helen Shiel, who heads The Centre for Rural Communities, using study circles in rural communities.

In this early Preparation Stage of the Rockhampton D2C Program, several organisations and individuals have already pledged significant commitments, and we are looking for more engagement.

If you (or your organisation) lives, works, is connected or associated in any way to the Rockhampton region, or you would just like to learn about, or be part of this exciting and innovative initiative, please get in touch with us by contacting  Julie or Rhonda at the Rockhampton Regional Council on 

+61 07 4936 8569 or

You can be involved in many ways

  • Be part of an organising working group – Helping in Recruitment, Logistics, Promotion or Planning for Action
  • Participate in a study circle – You have ‘voice’, we will listen!
  • Participate in the Orientation Workshop, Organising Workshop, Facilitator Training or Action Forum – Build your skills
  • Undergo Facilitator and Recorder Training and facilitate the study circles – Become a Study Circle Facilitator
  • Support the Action Ideas and Action Groups
  • Be a part of an Action Group – Create real change
  • Provide expertise, assistance and / or ‘in kind’ support
  • Be a partner
  • Support funding applications
  • Sponsorship
  • ‘In kind’ assistance
  • Carry out a formal external evaluation